Facts, Facts and More Facts: Private Investment Counsel firms advance, albeit slowly.

There’s good news and there’s bad news but sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. This was particularly true of the Private Investment Counsel (PIC) channel during the second half of 2011, based on early results gleaned from a sample of our year-end survey. In the six months ended December 2011, the channel’s asset base grew, but only just (less than 1%). But the general market weakness—the Morningstar CAN Canadian Equity Balanced benchmark declined by 3.13% in the same period—places the channel’s marginal expansion in a more favorable light.

In the first half of 2011, the deposit taker-owned investment counsellors— as a result of both acquisitions and organic growth—overtook the independently-owned firms in terms of aggregate assets under management. In the second half of 2011, both competitor cohorts seem to have struggled to gather assets. The upcoming Winter 2012 issue of the Fee-based Report (http://investoreconomics.com/issue/the-fee-based-report-2) will feature an in-depth discussion of the competitive landscape of the PIC channel. Posted by Kate Betts-Wilmott Kate@iei.ca.